According to a recent study of more than 100,000 American workers, 53% of employees want employers to place more focus on supporting health and fitness in the workplace.
There are also stressors outside of work that still affect employees at the office, for example, financial worries – employees spend on average 13 hours every month worrying about money while at work. And sedentary lifestyles and increasing social and financial pressures are impacting employees' mental and physical wellness as well. Managers can help combat much of this however, by focusing on benefits initiatives that make employees feel happier, healthier, and more engaged.
Let Employees Choose Their Health 'Perks'
Over half of employees in the US say their workplace has a negative impact on their wellbeing and only 10% say there is any positive impact at all. Organizations need to respond to this by making the mental, physical and financial well-being of their employees the core goal of their people strategy. The benefits that have the most impact are those that are personalized to meet employees’ long and short-term needs.
For example, not everyone wants traditional wellness benefits such as gym memberships; many prefer to choose the benefits that are most appropriate for their needs via a ‘wellness pot’.
In this scenario they can spend the money in their ‘wellness pot’ on activities that have the biggest impact on their personal wellbeing, for example, on Zumba classes or rock climbing.
Research found that employers that offer flexible and personalized benefits, such as wellness pots, have around three times as many employees who are extremely engaged with the company. Yet, only 4% of organizations currently offer a wellness pot and 76% aren’t even considering implementing one–even though more than half (51%) of employees would appreciate this benefit.
Make it Personal
After giving employees increased choice through wellness pots, begin to group employees based on personal preferences and share relevant, customized communications about the benefits on offer. Just 9% of employers do this right now, but those that do are twice as likely to meet their benefits program objectives.
Get Serious About Making Things Work
For employee benefits to have the biggest possible impact, funding must be competitive and there must be a wide range of choices. Beyond that, measuring the ROI of your current program is key. Employers that don’t actively measure the impact of their benefits programs are missing a major opportunity to ensure targets are reached and that the benefits program works for both employees and the business.
Ultimately, today’s employees are looking for more from employers in order to stay engaged and feel truly valued by their company. Giving employees the freedom to choose the benefits that are best suited to their unique needs and life stage and supporting those choices through personalized communications and data analytics is crucial. Implementing these changes will have a bigger impact, including higher performance and more productive employees, something that every company wants and will benefit from.